June 03, 2005

Using Classroom Labor

It seems to me that combining the open source movement with classroom instruction would create a great deal of real world progress. Imagine a coordinated initiative that recruited software engineering class instructors to structure their classes in such a way that they solved real world problems for real world OSS projects. The students are there, writing code, but the code they write is actually submitted for real world use.

If it's good code, they will actually be able to say that they have real world experience on their resume. Their code was considered by their peers to be good enough to put into production use. This would give these students a real leg up in the job market over students who did not participate in such structured coding projects.

For the professors, it would be challenging to restructure each class to solve a new problem but it would also be invigorating and free them from the risk of students passing the answers from one class to the next. Since the problems to be solved would change, the code generated by each class would be useless in solving the next class' assignments.

There are literally tens of thousands of incomplete projects out there in publicly accessible repositories. This source of labor could be used to help finish a great many of them.

Posted by TMLutas at June 3, 2005 12:08 AM